Argonauts of the Western Pacific: An Account of Native by Bronislaw Malinowski

By Bronislaw Malinowski

First released in 1922, this vintage textual content examines the broad and complicated buying and selling process maintained through the Trobriand Islanders. whereas the most topic is economics and social association, the ability of magic, mythology and folklore also are tested.

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Additional resources for Argonauts of the Western Pacific: An Account of Native Enterprise and Adventure in the Archipelagoes of Melanesian New Guinea

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I tried then to proceed to business. First, to begin with subjects which might arouse no suspicion, I started to “do” technology, A few natives were engaged in manufacturing some object or other. It was easy to look at it and obtain the names of the tools, and even some technical expressions about the proceedings, but there the matter ended. It must be borne in mind that pidgin-English is a very imperfect instrument for expressing one’s ideas, and that before one gets a good training in framing questions and understanding answers one has the uncomfortable feeling that free communication in it with the natives will never be attained; and I was quite unable to enter into any more detailed or explicit conversation with them at first.

So, the third commandment of field-work runs: Find out the typical ways of thinking and feeling, corresponding to the institutions and culture of a given community, and formulate the results in the most convincing manner. What will be the method of procedure? The best ethnographical writers-here again the Cambridge school with Haddon, Rivers, and Seligman rank first among English Ethnographers—have always tried to quote verbatim statements of crucial importance. They also adduce terms of native classification; sociological, psychological and industrial termini technici, and have rendered the verbal contour of native thought as precisely as possible.

It must be borne in mind that pidgin-English is a very imperfect instrument for expressing one’s ideas, and that before one gets a good training in framing questions and understanding answers one has the uncomfortable feeling that free communication in it with the natives will never be attained; and I was quite unable to enter into any more detailed or explicit conversation with them at first. I knew well that the best remedy for this was to collect concrete data, and accordingly I took a village census, wrote down genealogies, drew up plans and collected the terms of kinship.

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